In The Broken Earth Series there is no moon, and because of that the Earth is altered. As I’ve read this series, I’ve wondered what actually would happen if the Moon were to cease to exist.
The first time I noticed that the moon didn’t exist in the Stillness was in a certain interlude in The Fifth Season. Toward the end if the interlude, what we now know is Hoa says, “Likewise, no one speaks of celestial objects, though the skies are as crowded and busy as anywhere else in the universe. This is largely because so much of the people’s attention is directed toward the ground, not the sky. They notice what’s there: stars and the sun and the occasional comet or falling star. They do not notice what’s missing” (The Fifth Season, 151). This is later proved when Alabaster asks the cryptic question, “‘Tell me, […] have you ever heard of something called a moon?'” (The Fifth Season, 449).
So the question is: What does the Moon do for the Earth and what would happen if the Moon went away?
Nasa explains that “the Moon makes Earth a more livable planet by moderating our home planet’s wobble on its axis, leading to a relatively stable climate. It also causes tides, creating a rhythm that has guided humans for thousands of years.” Based on this, I think that it is safe to assume a couple of things. First, that if the Moon were to cease to exist, Earth’s axis would be less stabilized. Since the moderated axis creates a relatively stable climate, if the axis lost it’s stability, the seasons would become more abstract. Forbes describes it as, “On Earth, without a Moon, its estimated that our tilt would possibly even exceed 45° at times, making us a world that spun on our sides. Poles wouldn’t always be cold; the equator might not always be warm. Without our Moon to stabilize us, ice ages would preferentially hit different parts of our world every few thousand years.”
Additionally, if the Moon went away, the tides would also diminish. According to Forbes, the Sun provides a miniscule amount of the tides, but not enough for them to change and they would be tiny. If the nature of our tides were to change this drastically, this quickly, the economies of coastal populations would also have to change drastically and quickly.
Based on what I’ve found, the chances of our Earth adopting a fifth season like those in The Broken Earth Series aren’t that likely, but things would drastically change and cause humans to learn how to live a different life. To end, I’d like to leave you with a video that Dennis found for me of Gru, from Despicable Me, shrinking the moon.